Vintage fest takes off

By Laurel Stowell

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ALL OUT: Hundreds wait outside to watch a movie on a giant screen at Whanganui's Cooks Gardens.PHOTO/LEWIS GARDNER
ALL OUT: Hundreds wait outside to watch a movie on a giant screen at Whanganui's Cooks Gardens.PHOTO/LEWIS GARDNER

This is the first year that Whanganui's Vintage Weekend has really taken off, one of its organisers says.

Sally Jane Smith was involved with many aspects of the event over the weekend. There were lots of people of all ages and many from out of town.

"Hundreds of people turned up. They just had a blast."

Mayor Annette Main said it was one of the best Saturday riverside markets she had seen, and the event was good for locals as well as visitors.

"Locals love to see things on in their town and visitors coming and enjoying it, and they love to hear the praise people are making of the town."

The women said the flea market in the War Memorial Centre was a success, as were the vintage cars, the Wellington bands and the fine, hot weather.

The cars were key for Ms Main.

"It's the ability for anybody to bring out their vintage car. People came to town with those cars just to be able to put them in the street and drive around amongst a whole lot of others.

I really noticed this year how much people loved seeing the old cars."

She also liked that a lot of people, including locals, dressed in clothes from six different decades for the occasion.

Ms Smith said the Demise by Chocolate event was a sell-out and hundreds came to watch Grease outdoors at Cooks Gardens.

What wasn't so great was the lack of sales tables outside shops in Victoria Ave on Saturday.

"I was disappointed, because most of the shops didn't really participate, and there were all those people walking down the street," she said.

It was also tough on the organisers that tickets sold poorly before some events - even ones that eventually sold out. "I said, 'Keep going, keep going,' and crossed my fingers. It was a very stressful week."

Ms Main was disappointed the soapbox derby didn't happen - organiser Mick Paul was flooded and re-establishing his business.

"Next year we really do want to see that back on the list for Monday."

And she said the Boundless Banquet in the Bridge Block was a bit small and scattered.

"It does need somebody to really, really drive that."

Whanganui District Council provides $30,000 to fund the event. It's shared between the various organisers. It is hoped profits from some events can help fund next year's weekend.

Ms Smith said: "What we are trying to do at Vintage Weekend is get as may different things as possible for people to do in Whanganui."

-More pictures, page 2.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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